Military Defense Attorney for Article 120b Rape, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Abuse of a Minor
Article 120b is the military statute which defines rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse of a child. These three separate charges define various illegal sexual activities involving minors who have not reached the legal age of consent.
Service members charged with an Article 120b offense will face aggressive prosecution at court-martial. To prosecute its claim, the Department of Defense will likely need strong forensic evidence. An experienced military defense lawyer can challenge certain forensic evidence and scrutinize the credibility of claims made without forensic evidence to provide a comprehensive case in your defense.
Any active duty or reserve service member can face prosecution under Article 120b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Like other Article 120 charges, the UCMJ does not distinguish between accusations levelled from people associated with the military and civilians. Allegations of sex crimes involving a minor are especially serious and require a strong defense.
Service members who are convicted under article 120b will face strict punishments in accordance with the UCMJ.
Article 120b Rape of a Child
Article 120b rape is the most serious charge under Article 120b which applies to service members who have allegedly engaged in a sexual act with a minor under one of two different circumstances.
Any service member who commits a sexual act upon a minor who is not yet 12 years of age may be found guilty of Article 120b rape at court-martial.
Secondarily, service members who commit a sexual act upon a minor who is 12 to 16 years of age may be found guilty of Article 120b rape at court-martial under the following conditions:
- The accused service member engaged in the use of force against any person during the act
- The accused service member threatened the child or instilled fear in the child
- The child became unconscious
- The child was under the influence of any intoxicating substance
The maximum punishment for service members convicted of Article 120b rape of a child is life imprisonment without parole. All service members convicted of Article 120b rape of a child will be subject to the mandatory minimum punishment of a dishonorable discharge and the forfeiture of all associated benefits.
Article 120b Sexual Assault of a Minor
Article 120b sexual assault is a less serious charge than Article 120b rape and applies to service members who have engaged in sexual conduct with a minor. The details of this charge differ from Article 120b rape with respect to age and force.
This offense is applicable to any service member who commits a sexual act upon a child who is at least 12 years of age. Service members who perpetrate a sexual act on a minor above 12 years of age may be found guilty of Article 120b sexual assault of a child at court-martial.
The maximum punishment for service members convicted of Article 120b sexual assault of a child is 30 years imprisonment. All service members convicted of Article 120b sexual assault of a child will be subject to the mandatory minimum punishment of a dishonorable discharge and the forfeiture of all associated benefits.
Article 120b Sexual Abuse of a Minor
Article 120b sexual abuse is a lower charge than either rape or sexual assault under Article 120b and differs from those charges in the nature of the sexual misconduct. This charge specifically applies to sexual misconduct involving a lewd act which may not involve penetration.
This offense is applicable to any service member who commits a lewd act in the presence of a child or who makes sexual contact upon a child. Service members who perpetrate a lewd act in the presence of a minor or who apply sexual contact to a minor may be found guilty of Article 120b sexual abuse of a child at court-martial.
The maximum punishment for service members convicted of Article 120b sexual abuse of a child is 20 years imprisonment. Service members convicted of Article 120b sexual abuse face a maximum punishment of 15 years imprisonment in offenses which lack sexual contact.
Hire the Services of an Experienced Article 120b Defense Attorney
The counsel of an experienced military defense lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome of a court-martial. Joseph Jordan is a seasoned military attorney who fearlessly represents service members in court-martial. Serious charges pertaining to Article 120b require skillful representation and a comprehensive presentation of evidence in your defense. Joseph Jordan is a former Army Judge Advocate who has successfully defended service members in numerous court-martials for Article 120b offenses. An accomplished military defense attorney of his skillset can provide remarkable legal counsel and challenge the prosecution’s case.
Building a strong defense can seem intimidating, and the support of an experienced military lawyer can help to take some of the weight off of your shoulders. The quality of your representation greatly affects the quality of your result. Joseph Jordan can offer steadfast support to help you obtain a favorable outcome. Operating out of Killeen, Texas, Jordan applies his experience and in-depth knowledge of this practice area to defend your rights.
Joseph Jordan understands that an Article 120b accusation is stressful and concerning for service members and their families. The counsel of a military defense lawyer, such as Joseph Jordan, can be an important part in easing the anxiety which may accompany these charges. If you are facing charges under the UCMJ Article 120b, contact Joseph Jordan to help beat your case.